If you follow me on Instagram you have probably noticed that we are on the go a lot. The kids and I rarely spend a morning at home. We are usually out enjoying the city and head home in time for lunch.
I love being out of the house, but it is stressful getting back to the house with enough time to cook and serve a healthy meal. I’ve become one of those moms I swore I wouldn’t be – a freezer chicken nugget mom. My kids eat them often. Maybe four times a week.
My kids are in a picky eating phase. They have a few meals they will always eat: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, mac and cheese….the usual carb heavy toddler fare. I’ve fallen into a bad habit of feeding them what they will eat, even though I know full well that they will eat anything if they are hungry enough, and it often takes introducing a food several times before they will accept it. It is so much easier to grab the food I know they will eat.
I need to change that. I want the kids to grow up excited to try new foods. I want them to have a healthy diet. So I’m putting down the chicken nuggets and picking up a plan.
I’ve been meal planning on and off for about a year. It took me a year to decide that meal planning doesn’t have to be for dinner (I know, I can hear you say duh from here). This week when I sat down to meal plan our dinners I also came up with a plan for the kids. I’ve included all of the kids favorites, but I’m introducing other healthy options too. I even plan on having Audrey help me put together the spaghetti bake.
I plan to prep the veggies and fruit the night before to make assembling the meal easier. I thought about prepping it all tonight, but I have the time to prep veggies daily.
Ideally I will stick to the meal plan all week. Realistically I’ll stick to the plan for three days. That is a start. I’m OK with easing into the plan.
Here is what we plan to eat for lunches this week:
Monday – Leftover chicken and noodles (adapted significantly from this), oranges
Tuesday – Leftover chicken and noodles, red pepper strips, oranges
Wednesday – Leftover spaghetti bake (from Tuesday dinner), cucumber, applesauce
Thursday – Chicken nuggets, cucumber, cinnamon bananas
Friday – Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrots, oranges.
Wish me luck. Do you meal plans? Do you have any advice? Do you have any suggestions for picky toddler approved healthy options?
4 thoughts on “Lunch Planning”
Sometimes I found that making the meal look more exciting and unusual got my kids to eat new or less liked foods. Cubed cheese and meats poked onto a pretzel stick served with something to dip it in always went over well. I bought slider buns for sandwiches because something small looked less daunting to eat. We also did breakfast for lunch if I was pressed to time. I’d freeze pancakes and waffles ahead of time and serve them with fruit and yogurt. Good luck. The picky eating stage will be revisited regularly during childhood:(
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Those are great ideas, thank you. They both love pretzels. I am adding pretzel sticks to my grocery list.
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